An unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) equipped with a nail gun has been developed that may be the precursor to models that will keep some roofers on the ground while the drone does the dirty work.
Ella Atkins, a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, designed the system after repairing her own roof. She and colleagues modified a DJI S1000 octocopter by attaching an off-the-shelf nail gun. Using tracking information from a ground-based motion-sensing system, they maneuvered the AV over a mocked-up roof and nailed down a series of asphalt shingles.
The firing mechanism is only unlocked by pressing on the gun’s tooltip on a surface. To view the mock-up demonstration, watch the video below.